Wreck This Journal: Path


When Wreck This Journal instructed me to make a sign, I had to think about it for a while.  Signs are supposed to convey something important like “Stop,” Wet Paint,” or the name of a street.  They say things we all need to be aware of for one reason or another, so I took this assignment very seriously.  It came down to the question of “What is something I think everyone should know?”

After mulling it over, I realized my sign had to reflect the most significant lesson I learned as an adult.  Let’s call it my “epiphany moment” as it shaped my entire outlook on life.  I wasn’t very far outside of 18 when I learned my goal for life would never include the word “normal.” One evening, it dawned on me that there is always more than one road and it was up to me to find them.  It seemed fitting that my journal page should be a visual representation of this epiphany:

A Fork in the Road

Reality sometimes has a pretty narrow view of life and it often fools us into thinking there is only one path in which to travel.  It’s easy to think that being normal is what we should all strive to be as that’s what we are taught from the very beginning.  At the very least, normalcy is the most comfortable and safe way to think.  I’ll admit,  I find myself in that rut from time to time, but I never stay for long.  Life should be about challenging myself to seek out other paths and live a life that has meaning to me as an individual.  This sounds like a no-brainer, but it takes a bold mindset to wander off the paved road and get your shoes dirty on the less traveled path.  There are no lines dividing traffic and no rules about how to drive.  Sometimes there are twists and curves that defy logic.  It takes loads of self-belief to shoulder the confusion of those who don’t understand.  They’ll stare at you and shake their heads.  However, the hardest part is making the choice to see there is path meant only for you.

What would you put on your sign?

c.b. 2011

20 thoughts on “Wreck This Journal: Path

  1. I think that our whole culture tells us from childhood to pick a path and stick to it. And, as most anybody who’s been in advertising knows, that’s an ugly thing to happen to a person. Your post today is where my head has been lately…not about moving away from writing–no way I could do that–but to imagine new ways to earn a living. And that’s kinda liberating, no?


  2. I couldn’t remember what I did on this page. I was sure it wasn’t as thought provoking as yours. I searced the bookshelves and finally found my Journal behind some other books. Then I had to go through it four or five times to find the page. I haven’t done it yet.
    Need to give this some thought.


  3. You do have a bad tendency to think like me it seems, or I like you. 😉 Not only would society prefer we pick one path ans stay on it, it would be extremely pleased if we picked the one that most others picked. I don’t mind if others pick my path, but they need to know there won’t be many people on it, and they’ll probably be way behind me most of the time. Sent you an image that fits this theme.


  4. “there is a path meant only for you” I first realized that at 14, and although I’ve often chosen to stay on the main highway, more and more I am wandering “off road” and loving it. My sign, not tongue in cheek at all would be “here there be dragons”.


  5. I must have missed that path, which I was supposed to travel. I’ve been moseying around those muddy paths, got my feet dirty, most of my life but it has indeed taken me on an interesting journey. Wouldn’t have immigrated at the age of fifty otherwise, left a secure job and all that… No regrets. Being this way has sometimes made for a certain feeling of alienation though…


    • Even when we wander off the main road, we have to give ourselves the freedom to wander further and explore more than just one pathway. There are alleys, forks, and tunnels, too. I think you’re very brave for following your heart!

      Yes, sometimes it is a bit lonely, but you know, I’d rather be content on my path alone than lost on a crowded road following the herd. 🙂


  6. I also realized early that I was on my own path, one that was invisible to everyone around me. For many years I traveled it mostly alone; now I’ve found that there are many fellow travelers on parallel paths, with whom I can converse and share adventures. So at this time of life, my sign reads “Don’t postpone joy!” Every moment gives us a chance for joy – I am trying not to waste any of them.


    • I love the idea of parallel paths! It’s so true. We may be traveling in our own directions, but we can wave as we see others on theirs. 🙂

      You’ve shared this quote before and I still love it! What a great thing to put on a sign!


  7. I’m definitely on a journey…sometimes I pick the path and other times life picks it for me presenting a huge challenge that forces me to grow even though I RESIST! A journey of the discovered self and what I’m made of, it’s been interesting at times, surprising, despairing, rejoicing.


    • My journey continues as well. My trip to London this summer surprised me in so many ways because I learned so much about myself (funny, how we think we know ourselves so well!). One of the biggest epiphanies is that I’m a heck of a lot stronger than I thought! 🙂


  8. I loved reading both your post and the comments as I’ve got a post in draft right now that I may re-think. For too many years I envied my friends that seemed to always know exactly what they wanted to be “when they grew up” and never strayed from that path. It was like they were born knowing their destiny. I always felt I floundered through life from job to job, career to career and even changed my University major too many times to count! Maybe that IS my path? to search out every option, bump and idea along the way and never really settling somewhere permanent. Huh, all I can say is thanks! TIme for some editing of both my blog and my outlook!


    • There is nothing wrong with traveling multiple paths! When I was growing up I was surrounded by people who knew what college they were going to in their Freshman year of high school. It took me a while to decide what I wanted to do and even now, I still wander and still consider other paths to take. If we stay on one road for an entire life, we forget the joy of adventure. 🙂 Kudos to you for being brave enough to jump and try something new whenever you get the chance.


  9. I love all your posts from Wreck this Journal! They’re always so inspiring – but I think my sign would probably say something goofy like “Why Are You Reading This, Shouldn’t You Be Watching The Road?”


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